Why the “rhetoric of rising” is incompatible with Christian views of grace and the common good. A nonnegotiable rule of political discourse these days is that it should operate on the basis of “public reason.” Debates about law and public policy, we are told, should only appeal to universally shared principles, rather than personal morality or religious belief, which vary from person to person. Therefore, in the public square, one must translate religious arguments into generally accepted “public reasons,” which in practice means secular reasons. In his latest book, The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?, Michael…